Issue 188 - March 201601 March 2016
Hi everyone, and welcome to the March issue of the Shanville Monthly! Zom-B Goddess, the 12th and final book in my Zom-B series, goes on sale in the USA and Canada this month -- hurrah!! Fans in the UK and Ireland will have to wait a couple more weeks to tuck into it, but the good news for my fans in Dubai is that there will be some copies on sale when I go there on tour early in March, giving you the opportunity to among the first in the world to read it! You can find out more about the book and my tours to promote it below, along with all the latest news and updates, including... a chance to chat live with me online on World Book Day... interior art from Zom-B Goddess... an exciting competition... and lots more!
WORLD BOOK DAY
It's World Book Day in March, and to celebrate it, I've agreed to take part in a live Facebook chat on Wednesday March 2nd at 6.40pm UK time. I'll be online for half an hour, answering as many of your questions as I can. I'm not the only author taking part -- you can find out who else the have lined up, and the start times for each author, by CLICKING HERE. I hope you can join me on the day -- and I hope you can think of some interesting questions!!! :-)
The end is nigh!!! The 12th and final Zom-B book goes on sale in the U.S.A. and CANADA on March 22nd. That's the gloriously golden cover above, and this is the book's plot synopsis on Amazon: "B Smith has escaped from the murderous clown Mr. Dowling, only to find herself trapped by someone she had once thought of as an ally. As B learns more about the twisted history of the zombie virus, she prepares to make a final stand against her enemies -- even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice." I don't want to say too much more about the book at the moment, for fear of spoiling any of its surprises, but I will say that it's an action-packed entry, with lots of fighting, lots of twists, and lots of characters biting the dust! You'll want to find a comfortable seat when you sit down to read this one, because I'm betting you won't be able to put it aside until you finish! Zom-B Goddess should be on sale in all good book stores across the USA and Canada -- if you can't see it on the shelves, please ask a member of staff if they can order in a copy for you, or else you can order it through Amazon USA, where it is also available as an eBook USA , or you can order it through Amazon Canada or Kindle Canada. Zom-B Goddess goes on sale in the UK and IRELAND on April 7th. and I'll be highlighting that edition here in next month's issue of the Shanville Monthly. (It should also go on sale in in Australia and New Zealand around that time.)
I'm going to DUBAI on tour this month, where fans will have three chances to catch me in action -- come to one, two, or even all three if you wish! (There will be advance copies of Zom-B Goddess on sale, but supplies are limited, so don't hesitate!) I'll then be touring in the UK and Ireland in April, to support the release of the final Zom-B book, and later in April I'm heading for Utah in the USA for the World Horror Convention. Don't forget, if you're coming to any of my signings or events, I'm always happy to sign as many of my books as you wish to have signed.
Wednesday 9th March
I will be doing SCHOOL events at the DUBAI Literary Festival. If you are a teacher or librarian and are interested in trying to get involved in those, please CLICK HERE
Thursday 10th March
6.00pm -- PUBLIC event at the DUBAI Literary Festival. I will be talking primarily about my Saga Of Darren Shan books. CLICK HERE
Friday 11th March
3.30pm -- PUBLIC event at the DUBAI Literary Festival. I will be talking primarily about my Zom-B books. CLICK HERE
Saturday 12th March
5.00pm -- PUBLIC event at the DUBAI Literary Festival. I will be doing a panel event about horror, with Christopher Edge and Curtis Jobling. CLICK HERE
Saturday 2nd April
11.00am -- PUBLIC signing, Eason BELFAST, 40-46 Donegall Pl, Belfast BT1 5BB.
3.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Eason DUNDALK, 34 The Ramparts Shopping Centre, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
Sunday 3rd April
1.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Eason SWORDS, Unit G1 The Pavillion Shopping Centre, Swords, Co. Dublin.
4.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Eason NEWBRIDGE, Unit 19/20 White Water Shopping Centre, Newbridge, Co. Kildare.
6.30pm -- PUBLIC panel event with DEREK LANDY and C J SKUSE, Waterstones BIRMINGHAM, 24-26 High Street, Birmingham B4 7SL. For FREE tickets CLICK HERE.
Thursday 7th April
10.30am -- PUBLIC signing, Watertsones MANCHESTER ARNDALE CENTRE, Market St, Manchester M4 3AQ.
1.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones LEEDS, 93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS.
4.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones DONCASTER, 27 Frenchgate Shopping Centre, A630, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN1 1LJ.
Friday 8th April
10.30am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones NEWCASTLE, Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF.
2.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones EDINBURGH, 128 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4AD.
6.00pm -- PUBLIC event, Waterstones GLASGOW, 153-157 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3EW. To book tickets (£3), CLICK HERE.
Saturday 9th April
11.00a.m. PUBLIC signing, Waterstones BRISTOL GALLERIES, 11A Union Gallery, Bristol BS1 3XD.
2.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones CARDIFF, 2A The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1WB.
Sunday 10th April
11.00am -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones PLYMOUTH DRAKE CIRCUS, 1 Charles St, Plymouth PL1 1EA.
2.00pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones EXETER, 48-49 High St, Exeter EX4 3DJ.
Friday 15th April
4.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Eason LIMERICK, 9 O'Connell Street, Limerick.
Saturday 16th April
10.00Am -- PUBLIC signing, MIDLETON BOOKS, 103 Main St, Midleton, Co. Cork.
2.30pm -- PUBLIC signing, Waterstones CORK, 69 Patrick St, Cork.
28th April to May 1st 2016
I'm going to be a guest of honor at the World Horror Convention, PROVO, UTAH, USA. More details TBC closer the time. http://www.whc2016.org/main.html
Whenever a new Zom-B book is due out, I like to share some of Warren Pleece's roughs for the interior art that features in it, ahead of the book's release. Above, you can find two such roughs from Zom-B Goddess. The first might look like a little pleasure cruise past the O2 in London (formerly known as the Millennium Dome), but there's far more going on here than that. In the second, forces are gathering for battle -- but who's on which side, and who will YOU want to win? The answers aren't as clearcut as you might think...
TO YALC, OR NOT TO YALC?
Summer is coming... and so is YALC! For those not in the know, YALC is the YA Lit Con that is now part and parcel of the London Fim And Comic Con, which takes part in late July every year. I've been there for the first two years, and the authors of an article on Maximum Pop are wondering if I might be back in 2016 to make it three in a row?!? Well, as Francis Urquhart (fans of the original House Of Cards TV show will know who I mean!) would have said in my position: "You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment!" But, seriously, I've indicated my willingness to return, so hopefully I'll have some good news to share with you once the lineup is confirmed at some point over the next few months. YALC
The world would certainly be a more interesting place if all ten of the books/series listed in THIS ARTICLE on MOVIEPILOT were made into movies, as the author dreams! #7 on the list would be the most awesome of them all, of course, though personally I think it might work better on TV than the big screen... Have a look and see if you agree with what made the list. Granted, speculation such as this is highly unlikely to actually lead to anything, but hey, it's fun to dream and share our dreams, isn't it?!?
I think this comment from a fan called Niki Niedermier Dye serves as a pretty good endorsement of the first book for adults that I released under the Darren Dash name -- The Evil And The Pure: "The characters weren't likable. I had nothing in common with them. I don't know how you manipulated me into caring for them, cheering for some and yes, even loving others. I guess I should just say - Job well done!"
Niki's right -- most of the characters in Evil are loathsome. It's dangerous, writing a book with such repellent main characters, but it was a challenge I couldn't resist. I'm always looking for the brightness in even the darkest of corners, the ray of hope in a landscape where all seems doomed. I think we learn the most about ourselves when we hold up our inner demons and subject them to all due scrutiny. It makes for uneasy reading sometimes, I know (and even more uneasy writing!), but to me it's a bit like a vigorous massage, where you feel the pain when your flesh is being kneaded hard, but you walk away with a lighter step at the end of it all.
If you're interested in my books for adult readers (two released, with a third to hopefully see print later this year), you can find out more about them here: http://www.darrendashbooks.com/
It's always nice to appear on a Best Of list, and it's especially nice when the compiler of that list is one of the biggest booksellers in the UK. So it's a double treat to see Zom-B Fugitive listed on Our Favourite YA Books Of 2015, put together by WHSmith. There are lots of other cool books on there too, so if you're looking for some good recommendations, this is the list for you!! http://blog.whsmith.co.uk/favourite-ya-books-2015/
I was thrilled to see this picture in a recent post by the RNIB over on Twitter. The RNIB do marvellous work with people who have lost their sight or suffer with other eye problems. One of their goals is to make as many books as possible accessible to readers with sight difficulties. It's a long, hard, costly process, so they have to choose carefully, and cherry-pick the books that they adapt into Braille or Giant Print. And as you can see from the photo, a few of my Demonata books have been included in their latest batch of works-in-progress. It might sound corny, but I do honestly feel extremely honoured by this. For more info about the RNIB and the brilliant work they do, click here: http://www.rnib.org.uk/
Good news for my fans in the Czech Republic. The second volume of my Zom-B series went on sale there on January 25th. You can find out more about it, and buy it online through the publisher if you wish, by CLICKING HERE Even if you're not Czech, it's worth having a look at the page for a much larger picture of the cover, which is COOL!!!
This is a link to a short, interesting radio piece about vocabulary and how teachers are working to help children in the Bronx improve their reading skills. Why am I drawing your attention to this, you may ask? Well, it will become apparent when you give it a quick listen! CLICK HERE
A fan called Hannah Pearce posted the following comment over on Facebook last month: "So. I have finally gotten around to reading the Zom-B series. And I realized, you totally predicted Donald Trump. There's a certain line that B's dad says - 'let's make this country great again' - that sent more chills down my spine than anything in the series!" Hannah is right to be afraid. We're all right to be afraid. People like Donald Trump are precisely who I was writing about with the Board in Zom-B, and the series serves as a warning about what can happen if we place too much power in the hands of warmongering, hate-inciting megalomaniacs. For once, with regards to The Donald, I'm not at all pleased to be able to say, "I told you so!"
One of my favourite scenes from any of my books comes near the end of Ocean Of Blood, the second book in The Saga Of Larten Crepsley series, when Larten unleashes his dark side onboard a small boat in the middle of a merciless sea. It was actually the scene that prompted me to start writing the books -- I'd been toying with the idea of telling Mr Crepsley's back story for a few years, but nothing was motivating me to go ahead and do it, until I thought of THIS scene -- I so much wanted to write it that I knew I'd have to kick on and begin putting the overall story together, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep! So I was absolutely delighted when a fan called Alexander Parker shared this piece of art with me, as it brought back lots of happy memories. Ladies and Gentlemen... boys and girls... who's brave enough to mount the gangplank and step onto the decks of the Pearly Tornado?!? We're settling sail shortly, but there's no guarantee that we'll ever return...
NATIONAL LIBRARIES DAY
It was National Libraries Day in the UK last month, and I read a very interesting article about the library closures -- 400 in just five years!! -- over on the SKY NEWS SITE The most infuriating thing for me is that the number of library visitors is MASSIVE. The Conservatives have closed all these libraries, and continue to close them more often than not by repeating the excuse that nobody is using them, which is very clearly a LIE. Even in this article, the relevant Minister says "I think it is important that councils think through the range of services they can provide in a library." He's perpetuating the LIE that libraries are not attracting massive scores of readers every day. What he really means, of course, is that libraries are not making money, and the Conservatives view that as a sin and a crime. This is despite the fact that libraries aren't MEANT to make money -- they're supposed to make books more widely available. Libraries are a vital natural resource, and the fallout from all these closures will be felt for many decades to come. Any politician who supports the closure of libraries should be held in low esteem and denied the vote of anyone who loves books and believes in accessibility to them for everyone, not just the wealthy. Ed Vaizey -- you should be ashamed of your role in this. ASHAMED.
To celebrate the upcoming release of the 12th and final Zom-B book, Zom-B Goddess, I'm going to offer signed copies of book 11, Zom-B Fugitive, as prizes in this month's competition. This is going to be a 4-in-1 competition, with separate entries for CANADA, THE USA, THE UK & IRELAND, and people who live in the REST OF THE WORLD -- please make sure you enter the right one!!! (And before you ask why Canada gets more prizes than the other countries -- it's simply because I had lots of spare Canadian copies of the book!)
CANADA -- There will be TEN signed copies of the Canadian hardback edition of Zom-B Fugitive.
USA -- There will be FIVE signed copies of the American hardback edition of Zom-B Fugitive.
UK & IRELAND -- There will be FIVE signed copies of the UK hardback edition of Zom-B Fugitive.
REST OF WORLD -- There will be THREE signed copies of the Canadian hardback edition of Zom-B Fugitive and THREE signed copies of the UK hardback edition of Zom-B Fugitive. (Please indicate in your email if you have a preference, and I'll do my best to assign you the edition of your choice if you're one of the winners.)
1) Answer this question: "What is the name of the 12th and final Zom-B book?"
2a) If you live in CANADA, Send your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2b) If you live in the USA, send your entry to: email@example.com
2c) If you live in IRELAND OR THE UK, send your entry to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2d) If you live ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE OF CANADA, THE USA, IRELAND OR THE UK, send your entry to: email@example.com
3) Put your NAME in the SUBJECT BOX when you send your e-mail -- I will not accept your entry if you don't. And make sure you INCLUDE YOUR FULL POSTAL ADDRESS in the body of the e-mail, as well as the answer. This is so that I can easily send your prize to you if you win. Please also include your age, although this is not mandatory. (If you are 16 years or older, I will add your email address to the Darren Dash mailing list, unless you indicate that you would rather not be added to that list.)
(4) Closing date is midnight, UK Time, Sunday, March 13th, 2016.
(5) This competition is open to everybody, unless you work for one of my publishers or are one of my relations.
(6) You can only enter the competition ONCE. If you try to enter more than once, ALL of your entries will be disqualified.
(7) Only one entry per household -- if you send in more than one entry, ALL of your entries will be rejected. If more than one person in a house wants to enter, you'll need to make a joint entry.
(8) The draw for the winners will be made on or after Monday, March 14th, 2016. It will be a completely random draw, made by Darren Shan personally (I use an online number generator to pick the winners). I will try to notify the winners by e-mail, and will post their names in the Shanville Monthly, and on Facebook too.
(9) Information submitted by entrants WILL NOT be shared by me with any other individual or company.
(10) My decision will be final.
With Zom-B nearing its end, I'm sure a lot of my fans are wondering what lies in store for me next. Well, I can tell you that I am working on a new series at the moment, but it's all currently top secret. I've done a few drafts of the first book, but I'm still working on the first draft of the second book, and I don't like setting the publishing ball in motion until I'm nicely ahead of the publication schedule -- I'll always start a series at least two or three years ahead of when the first book comes out. The current books is a monster, 170,000 words and counting! (To put that in context, most of my Zom-B books came in around the 33,000 word mark.) I'm sure I'll trim it down by tens of thousands of words before it sees print, as I'm currently doing with the first book, but it needs the excess length at the moment, so that I have plenty to work with and fine-tune over the coming edits. While I can't say anything substantial or revealing about the new books (apart from what I've hinted at before, i.e. although they have a dark edge, they're not horror) I can reveal that I use the word "Emerald" quite a lot in the current novel, but for some annoying reason I keep typing it as "Emerland" and then having to go back and correct it. That wouldn't be so irritating over the course of a short book, but when you're eight months into a first draft, and STILL making the same mistake over and over... GAH!!!!! As for why I'm typing (or trying to type!) "Emerald" so much... you'll just have to wait and see!!!!!
Last month saw the funeral of my father-in-law, Augustine Basini, who died near the end of January. Here's a short poem that his passing inspired me to write..
Death, my friend, I will brook no delay;
Come, it's time, let us journey on today;
Dark, the road, but it holds no fears for me;
Stars, cool fire, light is all I see;
Life, the snake, will writhe for me no more;
Done, I smile, refusing calls for an encore;
Love, I'll miss, and those I left behind;
Until, in time, the lost again I'll find;
All who waltz will waltz again,
As we started, so we end,
The world's a thief and steals our breath,
But we will laugh at the thief with Death,
Who whips us from this world of graves,
Mourn not for me, not lost, but saved.
IT'S A WRAP
And that's it for March. I'm going to be on the road a lot over the next couple of months, so I won't see as much of my son, Dante, as I'd like -- so here's a recent photo of him that I can look at when I'm on my travels. It was taken in a soft-play area in Limerick. I spend a lot of time in soft-play areas these days, and sometimes they seem to be bringing out the worst in Dante -- I mean, is it my imagination, or is he the spitting image of the Green Goblin in this?!? I hope those of you who get your hands on Zom-B Goddess this month enjoy the big finale -- do please let me know if you do, and spread the word online via Amazon or similar sites if you can. I'll be back here at the start of April for the countdown to the UK & Ireland release of Zom-B Goddess, and all the latest news and updates. Until then, all my bloody best, Darren Shan. x x x